What to use as a terrain base

When I first tried my hand at making a few pieces of terrain I ran into a problem - the base. I tried using a piece of picture framing matt board and it bowed up on my like a freak. I then tried a piece of corrugated cardboard and didn't have any more luck so I turned to the internet.

After a bit of searching I discovered the holy grail of terrain making bases - Masonite. This is the stuff that is on your kitchen counter top. Once I knew what I needed I headed off to Home Depot to pick some up. After asking around a bit I finally found some. Problem was it was expensive - about $60 a sheet. Well that was right out. I asked one of the guys who worked there if they had anything similar buy cheaper and he took me to another section - the paneling section.

Yes, the wood paneling section. Here I found exactly what I needed - peg board without the peg holes or hardboard as they call it. This stuff works great and the best part is the price - about $6 for a 4' x 8' sheet.

I was all excited so I grabbed one of the wobbly carts and loaded a sheet up. I proudly wheeled it over to my wife she was not very happy when she saw it. She demanded to know what it was and what I was going to be using it for and how much it cost. When I filled her in she was ok with it buy wondered how we were going to get it home. We had driven my Prius instead of her Jeep Commander and there was no way it was going to fit.

Long story short I had it cut in half and forcibly wedged it my tiny car.

Once I finally got the stuff home I was anxious to cut out a piece and glue my piece of terrain to it. This presented yet another challenge. This stuff is way to tough to cut with scissors or an exacto knife. It was time to bust out the jigsaw.

The jigsaw did ok but in the future I think I am going to have to invest in a set of saw horses and clamps. I was very wobbly the way I did it and probably not very safe. Remember - always follow the directions for using your saw.

Once I had the piece cut out I glued my piece of terrain down and let it dry. I then covered the base with PVA glue and based it (this is what caused the previous materials to warp so bad). There was absolutely no warpage. A success.

So the next time you are getting ready to create a piece of terrain and need a cheap warp-proof give hardboard a shot.